Are you looking to implement preventive maintenance but afraid the process is too complicated and expensive? We have a  detailed step-by-step guide on how to switch from reactive to preventive maintenance that proves otherwise.

If you’re relying solely on corrective maintenance, then your company is probably wasting tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year due to a lack of a preventive maintenance plan. Before we dive in further let’s make sure we’re on the same page about the meaning of Corrective and Preventive maintenance.

Corrective Maintenance is a maintenance task performed to identify, isolate, and rectify a fault so that the failed equipment, machine, or system can be restored to an operational condition within the tolerances or limits established for in-service operations.

Preventive maintenance (or Preventative maintenance) is work that is performed regularly on a scheduled basis to lessen the likelihood of the piece of equipment from failing. Preventative maintenance is performed while the equipment is still in working condition as to avoid unexpected breakdowns.

A recent study by Jones Lang LaSelle highlights how a telecommunications company saw a 545% return on investment (ROI) when implementing a preventive maintenance plan.

As good as a 545% return sounds, it can still be tough to get the go-ahead from upper management. To help you accomplish this goal we have put together a simple step-by-step guide on how to convince your manager and make the switch to preventive maintenance.

Getting Started: Step-by-Step Preventive Maintenance Plan

Step 1. Start Small

It’s going to be easier to convince higher-ups and see quick results if you start with for one or two assets to prove value. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which assets to select for your small-scale preventive maintenance plan:

  1. Which machines are most important to production/organizational success?
  2. Is regular maintenance required for this piece of equipment?
  3. Are the repair and replacement costs high?

You’ll want to select machines that require regular maintenance and have higher replacement/repair costs as this will provide your company with the greatest returns. You’ll also want to steer clear of assets that are reaching the end of their rope – so don’t pick equipment that will need to be replaced soon.

Step 2. Estimate your Return On Investment

Once you’ve selected the machines to work with, put together a preventative maintenance plan that highlights the return on investment. To do this, you’ll need to calculate the dollar amount that you would save annually for each asset.

Tip: It might serve you best to keep track of the following data in a spreadsheet. Most computers come with excel, but if you don’t have access to excel you can use Google sheets for free.

To calculate this dollar amount answer the following questions.

  1. How often does each machine require routine preventive care?This information can be found in the machine’s manual which often can be found online by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
  2. What’s been the average dollar amount of corrective maintenance required for each asset? Take a peek at your maintenance data and record the number of times your selected machine(s) has needed maintenance over a given period of time (perhaps the past year). And most importantly, note the costs of those fixes.  If you don’t have that data that’s ok track down estimates to give you a base to go off of.

Now that you have the numbers do a little data crunching and see how much corrective maintenance is actually costing you and how much preventative maintenance work you would need to do to drastically reduce it. You can expect to reduce corrective maintenance costs by up to 70% with a good preventive maintenance plan.

Step 3. Present Your Findings

As many chefs would say – “it’s all in the presentation!”. You need to make sure you’ve put together a compelling plan, complete with a visual, for convincing your boss(es) that it’s time to make a change.

Here are a few tips for crafting a compelling presentation.

  1. Start with a summary of your goalSummarize how you want to save your company time and money. In a formal plan, these goals are often stated in an “Executive Summary.” In a visual presentation, this summary should be a few bullets that describe the plan’s goals.
    Preventive Maintenance Plan Goals
  2. Lay out the limitations of your current situation: Explain that corrective maintenance is costly and preventing your company from higher profit potential! Take a page or slide (we recommend using powerpoint or keynote) to lay out some bullet points about how corrective maintenance is losing money for your company.
    Preventive Maintenance Plan Currently
  3. State your solutionHere’s where you show off the ROI that preventive maintenance will provide!
    Preventive Maintenance Plan Solutions
  4. Use your voice more than written wordsAs nerve-wracking as it may sound, you’re going to need to speak naturally and not just read words on the screen. You also don’t want to write out every word that you’re going to say. Practice at home or with some colleagues if you’re feeling nervous.
    Preventive Maintenance Presentation
  5. Keep each slide or page briefWith 2-3 bullets that highlight the most important bits of your presentation. Rely on your knowledge and voice to fill in the rest!
    Preventive Maintenance Too Many Words
    Preventive Maintenance Better
Step 4. Input

Congratulations, you’ve just impressed your boss and have a plan in place to save your company tens of thousands of dollars. Now it’s time for you to put together a team that will help you lay out a solid preventive maintenance plan as well as the goals for the plan.

You’re likely going to need information from many people such as maintenance technicians, machine operators, production managers and anyone else who can provide valuable input. Set a time to speak with the right people so that you can determine the best plan for implementing preventive maintenance. Additionally, getting buy in from the rest of your team will make sure they want the preventive maintenance plan to succeed as much as you do.

Plan ahead as to not waste your time or the time of others. Write down your questions for your teammates in advance and be prepared to take notes on what they have to say.

Step 5. Implementation

Once you’ve spoken with the correct folks and you’ve got a solid understanding of what each department needs and recommends, then it’s time to put the plan into action.

You’ve selected your first couple machines, and now you need to decide if you want to run your plan manually or if you’d like to implement a CMMS system that can automate a lot of the processes.

Once the preventive maintenance plan has been running smoothly, slowly start adding other assets that will benefit from a good preventive maintenance schedule.  Before you know it, all of your equipment will be on your preventive maintenance plan, working better than ever.

In conclusion

Implementing a preventive maintenance plan can be a daunting task if not approached the right way.  Setup quick and easy tasks that can result in wins with a measurable ROI.  This will establish traction and before you know it your maintenance operations will be running smoother than ever before.

Have you implemented a preventive maintenance plan before? We would love to hear your experiences in the comments or ways to improve our stupidly simple step-by-step guide!

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